From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 4:24 AM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday December 23, 2009
A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Voluntary Cost Share Conservation Works- Media Shown a Water Quality Success Story Along the North Canadian River
-- OSU's Brad Morgan Amazed at Desire to Learn More About US Beef in China
-- An Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Update
-- US Wheat Associates Working to Establish Relationship With New Buying Agency in Saudi Arabia
-- NCBA Comments on Interstate Sale of Meat Rules Being Worked on by FSIS
-- The Latest Weather- Maybe or Maybe Not on Much Snow- But Regarding the BIG Chill- A Most Definite YES.
-- Christmas Schedule
-- Let's Check the Markets!

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

We are also excited to have as one of our sponsors for the daily email Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, with 64 years of progress through producer ownership. Call Brandon Winters at 405-232-7555 for more information on the oilseed crops they handle, including sunflowers and canola- and remember they post closing market prices for canola and sunflowers on the PCOM website- go there by clicking here.

And we salute our longest running email sponsor- Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the springtime Southern Plains Farm Show, as well as the just concluded Tulsa Farm Show. Click here for more information on the Southern Plains Farm Show, coming up April 15,16 and 17, 2010.

If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.

Voluntary Cost Share Conservation Works- Media Shown a Water Quality Success Story Along the North Canadian River
The farmers and ranchers of the North Canadian River Watershed today celebrated changes they have made to ensure the Oklahoma City metro area's primary source of water is protected from contamination from agricultural runoff. "We're commemorating the conversion of more than 20,000 acres of cropland to no-till practice and the protection of the first eight miles of stream bank protected by riparian buffer strips," said Clay Pope, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. "More than 500 acres of high erodible cropland has also been converted to pasture to further protect the water from contamination."

The results of these conservation efforts- Christmas has come early to the citizens of central Oklahoma in the form of the work being done by farmers and ranchers to protect the quality of the water in the North Canadian River, a primary source of drinking water for Oklahoma City, according to Trey Lam, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. "The Agriculture producers and other landowners in the North Canadian River Watershed should be commended for the outstanding work they are doing to protect this vital watershed," Lam said. "Because of their good efforts, the folks downstream will see cleaner water flowing into Lake Overholser, one of Oklahoma City's primary sources of drinking water."

All of these practices were undertaken through voluntary, locally-led conservation initiatives including state conservation cost-share programs, USDA Farm Bill conservation programs and Clean Water Act section 319 water quality initiatives managed by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in partnership with local Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Click on the link below to read more about this water quality success story- and you can also listen to our conversation with Clay Pope about this Section 319 program- and how it is one of many such programs that has seen success across the state. Pope says of the many 319 programs that have been offered- there has never been a case in Oklahoma where we have had more money than producers who wanted to cost share and help in these environmentally positive efforts.

Click here for more on this look at the North Canadian watershed Section 319 Success Story.

OSU's Brad Morgan Amazed at Desire to Learn More About US Beef in China
There is no question that China's beef sector is attracting the interest of investors and world beef exporters. After decades of low prices, Chinese live cattle prices of roughly $1 per pound are higher than those of even the United States. China's appetite for beef is growing at a long-term trend rate that is unparalleled by any other major consuming market. That is one reason that Oklahoma State University's Dr. Brad Morgan, department of animal science meat scientist, recently traveled to all-corners of China and talked to several purchasing groups regarding the usefulness, high quality and safety associated with the current U.S. beef offering. (Pictured are beef buyers from COFCO. COFCO is China's leading oil and food importer and exporter and one of the largest food manufacturers in China.

"China's foodservice and restaurant sectors have expanded at a rate double than that of its already torrid GDP growth," Morgan said. "One can find a plethora of new beef-focused restaurants, ranging from hot pot and Korean barbecue restaurants to the golden arches of McDonalds in primary cities like Beijing and Shanghai, which have 18 million people each, as well as smaller secondary cities as well."

While in China, Morgan, with the cooperation of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, conducted a series of one-day workshops with several of the largest Chinese food importing and processing businesses that are beginning to utilize U.S. beef items into their operations.
You can read more about Dr. Morgan's time in China as he helped educate Chinese industry officials about US beef- just click on the link below.

Click here for more on the Brad Morgan journey to China talking US Beef

An Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Update
The current class of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program is down to just one event before graduation from the program next April. That one event is a big one, as they are preparing for their international seminar in Spain and Morocco in February.

Meanwhile, we got an email from program director Dr. Joe Williams yesterday- and he's very proud of class 14 and how several have already stepped up to the plate while in the program to new levels of leadership. Joe writes "the program continues to produce emerging agricultural leaders that represent our nation, Oklahoma, this program and our agriculture industry very well. Three Class XIV members are currently serving on national boards. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Annette Riherd, Oolagah, to serve as a member on the National Organic Standards Board. The Secretary also appointed Ryan Luter, Morrison, to serve on the USDA Advisory Committee to Secretary of Agriculture on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Brandon Winters of Oklahoma City, is a delegate (director) for the Cottonseed Processors subgroup of the National Cotton Council of America."

Speaking of OALP- Alums- I have a friendly reminder that there are only a few days left to get your expression of financial support in for 2009. I understand that we are closing in on making the Noble Foundation Challenge for the year- but your support is needed to close the deal. That means a dollar given becomes two dollars to the program- and that's vital in helping fund the continuation of this very important leadership development effort. Those investments need to be sent to the OSU Foundation before December 31 to be counted against this year's Noble Grant Challenge.

Click here to learn more about OALP at their website- including details on when applications for Class 15 will be available.

US Wheat Associates Working to Establish Relationship With New Buying Agency in Saudi Arabia
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) recently conducted a seminar in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to introduce U.S. wheat and the U.S. marketing system to the Saudi Arabian wheat buying organization, Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSFMO). Conducted in cooperation with local USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service and State Department officials, the seminar was the first ever held exclusively with this new international wheat buyer, and was designed to build confidence in U.S. wheat crop quality, handling, and commercial reliability. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to end domestic wheat production by 2016 and may eventually need to import more than 2.5 million metric tons (91 million bushels) of wheat per year.

"Competition for this market is intense," said Dick Prior, USW Regional VP, Cairo, Egypt. "The Canadian Wheat Board monopoly is allowing select traders to offer comparable quality Canadian wheat at delivered prices well below what our exporters can offer so establishing the value of U.S. wheat with GSFMO is critical." Saudi Arabia purchased almost 60,000 metric tons (2.2 million bushels) of U.S. hard red winter wheat in marketing year 2008-2009 (June-May).

Click on the link below for more on this effort being made by US Wheat Associates to establish a relationship with the Saudis as the US hopes to land a major share of their wheat business in the days ahead.

Click here for more on US Wheat promotional efforts in the Middle East

NCBA Comments on Interstate Sale of Meat Rules Being Worked on by FSIS
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) submitted comments yesterday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) regarding a proposed rule to allow the interstate shipping of certain meat and poultry products. The proposal would establish a new cooperative state program-as directed under section 11015 of the 2008 Farm Bill-to permit the sale and shipment of meat across state lines. The program will help small establishments grow their businesses and open up new opportunities for cattle producers to do business at the local level. Currently, meat processors operating under cooperative state inspection programs are prohibited from selling their products out of state.

"This program is a great opportunity to grow local demand for beef and increase competition," said Kristina Butts, director, legislative affairs. "NCBA fought for this provision in the 2008 Farm Bill and we're pleased that USDA is finally working towards its implementation."

While NCBA is pleased with the spirit of the program, it is asking FSIS to clarify guidance for establishments in states which potentially become ineligible to participate. The proposed rule states that once an establishment applies to participate, it would have to transition and become federally inspected if it were ever deselected from the program. It's unclear what would happen to establishments participating in the voluntary program in the event its respective state was to become ineligible to participate.
We have more about NCBA's comments on this effort to implement one of the remaining untouched parts of the 2008 farm law. Click on the link below to see those comments.

Click here for more on NCBA and their pros and cons of this rulemaking process

The Latest Weather- Maybe or Maybe Not on Much Snow- But Regarding the BIG Chill- A Most Definite YES.
The computer models keep shifting around on exactly how much rain or snow may fall across Oklahoma as we approach Christmas Eve and even Christmas Day. There could be several inches of the white stuff, especially in northern parts of the state- or a significant part of the state could end up with smaller totals than earlier thought. The National Weather Service says the dynamics of this storm bearing down on us keeps moving.

Click here for the weather discussion from the NWS in Norman and read the latest for yourself- it may have been updated a time or two by later in the day on Wednesday.

Speaking of trying to forecast winter weather- the folks at the Mesonet have their latest newsletter out- and the lead article is very fitting, as they talk about the difficulty of forecasting winter weather. Click on the link below and you can read more from Laura Martin and the Mesonet crew in their December Newsletter.

Click here for more on Winter Weather Forecasting- it ain't easy baby!

Christmas Schedule
Virtually all auction barns are done with their livestock auction sales for 2009- the next auctions that will be held are likely to be the week of January 4, 2010. We would suggest that you contact the barn you do business with to determine their schedule.

Our ag futures markets operate a full trading day on this Wednesday- will trade a half day on Christmas Eve and then will be totally closed come this Friday, December 25th for Christmas.

Likewise, we will have a "lite" email on Thursday for Christmas Eve and then will skip Friday- we will return on Monday for the last few updates of the old year.

We will have more in our Christmas Eve edition of the email on some reflections about the season- but for now, my wish to you and yours is that you will have a happy and holy Christmas holiday- as the entire world takes pause and celebrates the birthday of a Kind- whether they are willing to admit that or not.

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, AFR and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!

We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Let's Check the Markets!
We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $7.50 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.70 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.

Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click on the name of the report to go to that link:
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day-
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101 mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- Two Pager From The Kansas City Board of Trade looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges with extra info on Hard Red Winter Wheat and the why of that day's market.
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- As Reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture. <
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Finally, Here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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